Tag Archives: Book Review

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)
“Fikry is a bookseller with a small shop in a sleepy island resort town off the coast of Massachusetts. He’s a bit cantankerous, but with good reason: his wife, the ‘people person’ of the relationship, has recently died and his prized possession, a rare copy of Tamerlane, has gone missing. Despite those losses, there’s one strange addition, a baby girl left on his doorstep with an explicit request for Fikry to take her in. Zevin’s novel offers the reality of both death and rebirth, held together by the spirit of the bookstore. It’s a romantic comedy, a spiritual journey, and if you include the chapter openings, a collection of short story criticisms as well. In short, it’s a celebration of books and the people who read them, write them, and sell them.”
— Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

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A Long Way from Chicago

a long way from chicagoPuffin (April 12, 2004)

Review by Josh Poppie (Jan. 2014)

I am reviewing A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck. I consider it a historical fiction or humorous book with several themes.

This book is a compilation of several stories about two kids, Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel, going to see their grandma for a week during every summer for seven years. Each visit is different in its own special way.  Some of the stories include: the catching-in-the-act and revenge on four prankster kids; an illegal fishing trip; and, a wrestling match between two of the oldest men alive.  Joey, the narrator, says Grandma Dowdel becomes a different woman every year.

The book takes place in Illinois’ Piatt County. I like the writing style especially because it involves a lot of funny similes and interesting vocabulary. Although it takes place in the Midwest, it has a very Southern feel to it.

I’d recommend A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck, to anyone who likes humor or old-time stories from the Great Depression era.

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Filed under Children's Literature, Historical Fiction